gms | German Medical Science

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Germany, Land of Ideas

Deutsche Initiative für Netzwerkinformation (DINI, German Initiative for Network Information)

Journal Policy

Here you can find the specific guidelines for submission and publication in GMS journals, which complement the general policy of the GMS portal.

Peer Review

All research and review articles, and most other article types, published in GMS journals undergo thorough peer review. This usually involves review by two independent peer reviewers. Reviewers will be treated anonymously.

All submissions to GMS journals are assessed by an editor, who will decide whether they are suitable for peer review. Submissions felt to be suitable for consideration will be sent for peer review to appropriate experts. Editors will make a decision based on the reviewers’ assessments and will communicate this decision to the authors along with the reviewers’ reports.

The editors of all GMS journals will treat all submitted manuscripts in confidence. Reviewers are also required to treat manuscripts confidentially. Manuscripts may be shared with other editors at GMS, unless authors indicate on submission that they do not wish their manuscript to be passed to another GMS journal.

Organization and operation of the peer review processes are the responsibility of the editorial boards and the scientific societies editing the various journals. The individual journals differ in their peer review processes, refer to the individual journal’s pages for further information. German Medical Science makes the Manuscript Operating System (MOPS) available to the editors in order to organise a single-blind peer review process. Journal editors can also organize the review without using the MOPS and establish other review processes.

Research Data

German Medical Science supports the Open Data movement and invites its authors to make materials, data and associated protocols available to the public. Peer review and publication of underlying data complies with demands of funding organizations like Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and European Research Council (ERC) in terms of “Good scientific practice”. Publishing the underlying research data contributes to transparency, research results are traceable and verifiable.

By co-operation with the Dryad repository (, German Medical Science offers an easy way to submit, review and publish supplementary data. Dryad is an international repository of data underlying peer-reviewed scientific and medical literature. Dryad has been developed by the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center and the University of North Carolina Metadata Research Center in coordination with journals and scientific societies.

Data submitted to Dryad is included in the journal’s peer review process. Further quality assurance is given by Dryad’s data curation, checking the submitted files’ integrity and usability. The data and sufficient descriptive information are to be provided such that another researcher would be able to evaluate the findings described in the publication. All descriptive information of the data must be in English. Human subject data must be properly anonymized and prepared under applicable legal and ethical guidelines.

Following the acception for publication in a GMS journal the article and its research data are published in parallel and are cross-referenced. Via the persistent identifier DOI data published in Dryad is citeable, and it also is long-term archived.
Data is published in Dryad under the Creative Commons Zero licence to enable extensive subsequent use: further interpretation of data, utilization for follow-up research projects, creation of interconnections between data sets and data/text mining.

Dryad is a non-profit repository, but rises publication fees to cover the costs. ZB MED – Information Centre for Life Sciences as one of the institutions building GMS currently takes over the costs for a data upload related to GMS manuscripts. For the authors, the publication of research data is therefore free of charge.

Please find further information in our video tutorial "The GMS publication service and the DRYAD research data repository".

Competing Interests

GMS requires authors to declare all competing interests in relation to their work. All submitted manuscripts must include a competing interests section listing all competing interests (financial and non-financial) or declaring that there are no competing interests.

Competing interests may be financial or non-financial. A competing interest exists when the authors’ interpretation of data or presentation of information may be influenced by their personal or financial relationship with other people or organizations.

Financial competing interests include (but are not limited to):

  • Receiving reimbursements, fees, funding, or salary from an organization that may in any way gain or lose financially from the publication of the article, either now or in the future
  • Holding stocks or shares in an organization that may in any way gain or lose financially from the publication of the article, either now or in the future
  • Holding, or currently applying for, patents relating to the content of the manuscript
  • Receiving reimbursements, fees, funding, or salary from an organization that holds or has applied for patents relating to the content of the manuscript

Non-financial competing interests include (but are not limited to) political, personal, religious, ideological, academic, and intellectual competing interests.

Authors from pharmaceutical companies or other commercial organizations that are involved in clinical research, should declare this relation as competing interest.

Editors and reviewers are also required to declare any competing interests and will be excluded from the peer review process if a competing interest exists.

Human and Animal Rights

Research involving human subjects, human material, or human data, must have been performed in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki and must have been approved by an appropriate ethics committee. A statement detailing this must appear in all manuscripts reporting such research. If a study has been granted an exemption from requiring ethics approval, this should also be detailed in the manuscript. Manuscripts may be rejected if the Editor considers that the research has not been carried out within an appropriate ethical framework.

All manuscripts resulting from research involving animals must clearly explain test procedures performed with animals giving no cause for ethical complaints.

Informed Consent

For all research involving human subjects, informed consent to participate in the study should be obtained from participants and a statement to this effect should appear in the manuscript.
For all manuscripts that include details, images, or videos relating to individual participants, written informed consent for the publication of these must be obtained from the participants and a statement to this effect should appear in the manuscript. In cases where images are entirely unidentifiable and there are no details on individuals reported within the manuscript, consent for publication of images may not be required. The final decision on whether consent to publish is required lies with the editor.


Being a non-profit publisher German Medical Science does not generate revenues from advertising.

The journal editors can, in agreement with the GMS gGmbH, place banner advertisements as long as this does not put the scientific objectivity of German Medical Science at risk. Contributions which have wholly or partly advertising character (e. g. Product Reviews), are to be marked clearly as such.